Brands in the News

Smart Phones Wars: Not Going to End Well

7 Jan , 2010  

It seems like everyone is launching a smart phone these days. Earlier this week Google started selling a smart phone.  Today Dell rolled out a new one.  Motorola is still aggressively promoting the Droid.  Apple keeps investing in the iPhone.  RIM is spending heavily on Blackberry.  Palm, Samsung and Nokia are still in the game.  HP and Cisco […]

Brands in the News

Diminishing Returns

28 Dec , 2009  

The good people at Kohl’s would be wise to consider the law of diminishing returns and slow the pace of email promotions. I’m always happy to sign up for promotional programs.  I sign up in part to learn about good deals.  But I mainly sign up to see what people are doing in terms of […]

Brands in the News

The Lufthansa Mystery

15 Nov , 2009  

This weekend I flew from London to Frankfurt on Lufthansa, and I am now very puzzled. The flight was terrific.  It left on time, the plane was clean and shiny, there were free newspapers at the gate, the flight attendants were friendly and helpful and the in-flight service was excellent.  Despite the fact that it […]

Brands in the News

Starbucks: Segmentation and Profits

7 Nov , 2009  

This week Starbucks reported some very strong financial results. Overall operating income for the third quarter improved from $14 million in 2008 to $199 million in 2009. In the U.S, profits more than doubled. This is very impressive because revenues in the U.S. were down during the same period by -4%. Operating margin in the […]

Brands in the News

Pure Michigan

16 Oct , 2009  

Now here is a real marketing challenge: sell Michigan as a vacation destination.  Yes, Michigan, the land of failing auto companies, the bumbling Lions and desolate Detroit.  It isn’t the sort of place that stirs the soul.  I suspect both Hammond and Newark both fall higher up the list of places to visit for most […]

Brands in the News

The Starbucks Via Challenge

5 Oct , 2009  

Let me start with a confession: I failed the Via challenge. This morning I stopped by my local Starbucks.  I tried Via and then I tried the brewed coffee.  And I couldn’t tell the difference.  I was completely stumped. I find this rather astonishing.  I am quite a coffee fan and I drink a lot of […]

Brands in the News

Chicago’s Olympic Marketing Miss

2 Oct , 2009  

There will be a lot of second guessing here in Chicago now that the city’s Olympic bid has failed.  People will probably point to a weak final presentation, an over-reliance on celebrities and the geographic composition of the IOC.  These are all fair points. One issue that certainly played a role was the lack of […]

Brands in the News

Sad News from Saturn

1 Oct , 2009  

This afternoon the Penske Automotive Group announced that its bid to acquire the Saturn brand had fallen through.  As a result, General Motors will be discontinuing the brand. This is sad news.  At one time Saturn was a wonderful brand.  General Motors created Saturn in 1990 in a bold effort to compete with the imports.  Saturn was […]

Brands in the News

Apple Advertising Rolls On

24 Sep , 2009  

Never underestimate the power of a simple, compelling idea. More than three years ago Apple rolled out a series of ads featuring the Apple and PC characters.  The initial spots were terrific.  They grabbed your attention and communicated a benefit.  Perhaps more importantly, there was no confusion about who the ads were for: Apple. Since […]

Brands in the News

Branding Tuna

22 Sep , 2009  

The New York Times on September 21 featured an interesting article about branding tuna in Japan.  It is a wonderful example of the power of branding. Sashimi is big business is Japan, with tuna attracting much of the attention.  And the finest Pacific bluefin tuna in Japan supposedly comes from a small town called Oma. […]